The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

21 hours ago

7 Things: ‘Safer at Home’ order extended in Alabama, one in nine seniors who get the coronavirus die, Trump won’t rally for Tuberville and more …

(YHN)

7. Two old white guys are excited to show us what level of cognitive ability they have

  • For the first time in about three months, former Vice President Joe Biden held a press conference, and in response to a question about cognitive ability, Biden said he “can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”
  • President Donald Trump is 74-years-old and Biden is 77-years-old, so questions coming up about either’s cognitive ability are not unexpected, but Biden is more known for his frequent gaffes. Trump isn’t exempt from these stumbles either. 

6. Biden is pandering, and he is doing it poorly

608

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has already said that his running mate will be female, but now he’s making even more promises about potential Supreme Court picks, saying that he hesitates to “follow anything the president does at all, because he usually does it all wrong.”
  • Biden went on to say that he’s “putting together a list of a group of African-American women who are qualified and have the experience to be in the court,” but he added that the list won’t be released for a while. 

5. New York wants to defund the police as AOC tells you what it means

  • Attempting to bow down to the insane demands of the “Black Lives Matter” movements, such as calls to defund the police, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing through a $1.5 billion dollar cut to the city’s $6 billion budget for police that everyone knows will disproportionally hurt people of color and the poor.
  • Dismissing this huge cut to the police in the nation’s largest city isn’t enough. Progressive darling and standard-bearer U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ()D-NY) reminded white liberals and the media that “Defunding police means defunding police.”

4. NYT sources: “There were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community”

  • The non-stop flow of questionable information from unnamed sources continues to say that the Trump administration knew about Russian attempts to get the Taliban to kill American soldiers, even though the same sources acknowledge that “disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot and the evidence linking the attack on the Marines to the suspected Russian plot.”
  • Lawmakers briefed on the matter said the “the underlying intelligence was conflicting.” The White House press secretary said, “There was not a consensus among the intelligence community,” adding, “[T]here were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and it would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.”

3. Trump isn’t coming to campaign for Tuberville anymore

  • Earlier reports said that President Donald Trump had planned to visit Mobile to hold a campaign rally for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville before the runoff election on July 14, but CNN is now reporting that Trump’s campaign has canceled the plans. 
  • Technically, the Tuberville campaign never confirmed the reports that Trump would be holding a rally for him, but as the news made headlines, the campaign never said otherwise. 

2. High fatality rate for seniors in Alabama with coronavirus

  • Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, while at a press conference with Governor Kay Ivey, brought attention to the high fatality rate of those over 65 who get the coronavirus in Alabama, with about one in nine diagnosed dying. 
  • Harris explained, “About three-quarters of all of [Alabama’s] deaths have occurred in our seniors, even though they’re only about 17 percent of our cases.” He described this as “a tragedy” as 926 people in Alabama have passed away from the coronavirus, with 726 of those being 65 years and older. 

1. “Safer at Home” order extended

  • On Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health added 854 cases to the coronavirus count, making the total case count 37,536. Governor Kay Ivey’s “Safer at Home” order has now been extended until July 31 but there are no major changes to the order. 
  • During the press conference to announce the extension, Ivey did say that she will “reserve the right to come back and reverse course,” adding, “When you’re in public, for goodness sake, wear a mask.”

2 days ago

7 Things: Huge jump in Alabama COVID-19 cases, questions linger over latest Trump-Russia ‘bombshell,’ SCOTUS hands big loss to conservatives on abortion and more …

(YHN)

7. Most expensive civil unrest ever

  • According to insurance experts and city officials, the protests and riots that followed the death of George Floyd could be the costliest civil unrest in the history of the United States, which is in part due to the overtime pay for police officers and the destruction and theft from rioting and looting.
  • CEO of Property Claim Services (PCS) Tom Johansmeyer said, “The riots in the Minneapolis area are the first riot and civil disorder event designated by [PCS] since the 2015 Baltimore riots.” Before this, the most expensive civil unrest was the riots in Los Angeles in 1992. Damage from the George Floyd protests and riots is estimated to cost more than $500 million just in Minneapolis.

6. Unemployment benefits added for some in Alabama

660

  • Those in Alabama who have used up all of their unemployment benefits may be eligible for Extended Benefits (EB), as announced by the Alabama Department of Labor; this is just for those who have already gone through the 14 weeks of Alabama unemployment and 13 weeks of CARES Act benefits. 
  • Those who receive EB will also receive the extra $600 per week from the CARES Act until it expires on July 31. EB has only been made available when the unemployment rate is over 5.9%, which will make this the first time since the 2008 recession that these benefits are available. 

5. New Tuberville ad released just two weeks before runoff

  • Federal super PAC Club for Growth Action is releasing a new ad for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville Tuesday for his U.S. Senate campaign, and the main focus of the ad is how Tuberville is pro-Trump. 
  • The ad takes aim at former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions by saying that “Alabama wants winners, not recusers.” It also describes Tuberville by saying he’s “a real leader, won’t back down, has Trump’s back. Enough with swampy politicians.”

4. Colleges to offer coronavirus testing

  • Before students go back to college campuses in the fall, they’ll have a chance to be tested for coronavirus after Governor Kay Ivey announced that the tests would be funded through $30 million from the COVID relief funding.
  • The testing will be free for students, and it’s going to be organized by the University of Alabama System, but testing is offered on all public-school campuses. Dean of UAB School of Medicine Dr. Selwyn Vickers said that the decision to have testing on private school campuses will be left up “to the institutions and their campus leadership.”

3. Huge defeat for conservatives at the Supreme Court

  • Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by President George W. Bush, once again dealt a blow to the conservative cause when he sided with the court’s more liberal judges to knock down a Louisiana law “regulating abortion clinics.” This happened after Robert declared the case he cited to make his decision to be wrongly-decided.
  • Obviously, the media and their Democrats’ fears that the court would lurch to the right were unfounded and Republicans hoping that Roe v. Wade could potentially be up for review seems less likely, barring another appointment and another term by President Donald Trump.

2. Many questions remain about the latest Trump-Russia story

  • Of course, the American media had already made up its mind when there were reports from unnamed sources that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers. The allegation included that the President of the United States knew about this and didn’t care. 
  • Much of the pushback on the story is related to the fact that the intelligence was never confirmed nor was the president ever briefed on it, with CBS News’ Katherine Herididge reporting, “[T]he intelligence collection report reached ‘low levels’ NSC but did not go further, not briefed POTUS, or VP because it was deemed ‘uncorroborated’ and ‘dissent intelligence community.'”

1. Cases are on the rise everywhere in Alabama

  • Coronavirus cases are increasing across the state, but North Alabama is also starting to see a spike after appearing to have very few issues, with 38 patients at the main Huntsville Hospital. There’s also been an increase in patients at the hospitals in Marshall County and Athens.
  • Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said that the average age of coronavirus patients in the hospital is mid-50s, but added, “Young people are not immune. It’s rare but it happens.” There’s a 16-year-old on a ventilator in Huntsville, and Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong has said that “we don’t have this pandemic under control” anywhere in the country, not even in Madison County.

3 days ago

7 Things: Alabama municipalities ready to mask up, schools will offer in-classroom learning, CDC in Alabama to help with COVID-19 outbreak and more …

(YHN)

7. An Alabama mayor has resigned over a Facebook post

  • Previously, Carbon Hill Mayor Mark Chambers was in the news for a controversial Facebook post where he mentioned “killing out” transgender, gay, socialists and “baby killers,” but now he’s making headlines for yet another Facebook post that has led to his resignation
  • In response to the University of Alabama football video last week that featured head coach Nick Saban and several players where they spoke about injustices, Chambers posted on Facebook that he’d be selling all of his “Alabama pictures” and said that he’s “not getting rid of them because of how they have performed.” He added, “Their sorry ass political views is why their (sic) getting out of my house. … When you put Black lives before all lives they can kiss my ass.”

6. Last living 16th street bomber has died

621

  • Of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombers, Thomas Edwin Blanton, Jr., a member of the Ku Klux Klan, had been the last one living, but Governor Kay Ivey announced that he has died in prison. 
  • Blanton was successfully convicted by U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) when he was serving as a U.S. Attorney in 2001 for the bombing killed Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair. 

5. Trump tweeted and then deleted a video where someone said “white power”

  • Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted video of the retirement community The Village in Florida in which rival protests took place. In a video of the incident, a man is heard mockingly yelling “white power!” while other seniors shout profanities at each other. 
  • In the video, the man who shouted about white power was driving a golf cart with Trump campaign posters, and Trump tweeted, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.” While he has since deleted the video, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said that Trump didn’t hear what the man said but stated, “What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”

4. New York Times report alleges Russia has put bounties on U.S. troops

  • In a “bombshell” report filled with anonymous sources and denied by the director of National Intelligence, there are allegations that Russia has been offering bounties for killing American soldiers, which the report says President Donald Trump knew of and did nothing about.
  • The White House says the bounty allegations did not appear in the president’s daily brief and the National Security Council says it has not found the intel assessment as described by the reporting.

3. CDC team has arrived in Alabama

  • Due to the continued rise of coronavirus cases across the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent a team to help the pandemic response through assisting the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). 
  • There are five CDC professionals that will be in the state until at least July 3. The ADPH had “requested the help of the team that includes an epidemiologist, a medical epidemiologist, an epidemiologist/data analyst, a risk communicator and an informatics/visualization specialist.” The team will be reviewing responses and giving recommendations based off data. 

2. Students will be in the classroom and online in the fall

  • State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey has announced that when public schools reopen in the fall, they plan to have students back in the classroom but they will be able to choose to continue learning online if they desire or need to. according to Mackey, about 15% of parents have concerns about sending their kids back to school. 
  • While additional school activities like sports and band “will resume” but “look different,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris has advised that they expect to see an increase in coronavirus cases when schools return in the fall, but that schools going back is “necessary.”

1. There won’t be federal mandates to wear masks

  • While former Vice President Joe Biden says he will use his power to force people to wear masks, Vice President Mike Pence has said that the White House will “defer to governors” on the issue of mandatory masks when asked if there would be any federal mandates requiring people to wear masks in public amid the coronavirus pandemic. He added that they “want to defer to local officials, and people should listen to them.”
  • In Alabama, cities and counties are preparing for mask ordinances in Selma, Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Decatur.

4 days ago

VIDEO: Alabama’s COVID-19 problem grows, masks become a flashpoint as cities discuss a mandate, Obama and Biden knew more about Flynn than they let on and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is the COVID-19 pandemic really out of control in Alabama?

— Will more cities mandate mask to follow the lead of Birmingham and Montgomery ordinances?

— How have former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden completely escaped scrutiny over their role in prosecuting General Michael Flynn?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy to discuss COVID-19’s surging numbers, mandatory mask ordinances and the Republican primary U.S. Senate runoff.

52

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at people who refuse to understand that these monuments to the “Confederate cause” are coming down and we need to let the process play out.

https://business.facebook.com/watch/?v=738873370209950

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

6 days ago

7 Things: Another record day for COVID-19 in Alabama, Huntsville considers mask ordinance, unemployment rolls keep growing quickly and more …

(YHN)

7. Alabama football has put out a Black Lives Matter PSA

  • In a video released by the University of Alabama that features Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and many football players voicing their support for equality, Saban says “we can’t be silent.” Some have complained that he didn’t say “Black Lives Matter.”
  • In the video, Saban is also seen saying, “We must speak up for our brothers and sisters, for our sons and daughters.” Quarterback Mac Jones adds, “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.”

6. NASCAR takes another swing at the “noose”

615

  • After a noose was found in the garage for Bubba Wallace’s car at the Talladega Superspeedway, an FBI and Department of Justice investigation took place and determined that the knot in question had been in the garage since at least October 2019, so it didn’t add up to being a hate crime against Wallace.  
  • Now, NASCAR has released an image of said noose. NASCAR President Steve Phelps said “the noose was real.” Based on the image, the door pull very clearly looks like a noose but the mere existence of the noose doesn’t make it a hateful act. 

5. Ivey admits mistake on shutdowns

  • While speaking to the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Governor Kay Ivey talked about how 2020 hasn’t gone how anyone expected with a year that started with a 2.9% unemployment rate before revisiting her “Stay at Home” order and the labeling of businesses as non-essential.
  • Ivey said, “I never wanted to create the belief that my administration viewed certain businesses as more important than others. All jobs and all businesses are essential and important to our state.” She went on to say it was unclear if another “Stay at Home” order was possible with increasing infections of COVID-19 in the state.

4. Byrne wants to see bipartisan legislation passed

  • As it becomes increasingly clear there will be no substantial police reform, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) spoke on the House floor in favor of passing bipartisan legislation on police reform, like the JUSTICE Act that Byrne co-sponsored but was voted down by Democrats on Wednesday.
  • Byrne remarked that he felt “compelled” to speak out against racism “under the present regrettable circumstance.” He went on to say that we’re all “created in the image of God and are of equal and inestimable moral worth.” Byrne also detailed how long black people have been fighting for equality and what they’ve endured along the way, emphasizing that the House has to “work together, not in parallel partisan efforts.”

3. Unemployment is still climbing

  • The Alabama Department of Labor has reported the most recent unemployment numbers, showing that from June 14-20 there were 18,671 new claims, 11,311 of which were directly related to the coronavirus. The week before saw 18,367 claims. 
  • Unemployment claims have decreased slowly since the initial shutdown caused by the pandemic. The claims are still more than 10 times higher than the week before the shutdown, which saw only 1,824 unemployment claims. 

2. More states leaning towards mask mandates

  • As new cases of COVID-19 surge across the nation, local and state mask ordinances, with questionable enforcement plans, are becoming more common with Nevada becoming the 19th state to put one in place. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) stated, “For Nevada to stay open, we must make face coverings a part of our daily lives.”
  • In states without mask ordinances, local governments are starting to get in on the act. While only Birmingham and Montgomery have them in Alabama, Huntsville and other municipalities have been talking about them in recent days.

1. Alabama sees record high coronavirus numbers again

  • Yesterday, Alabama saw the highest number of coronavirus cases in one day that it’s seen throughout the entire pandemic with 1,129 new cases. 
  • More than 90% of Alabama counties are reporting new cases. The positive rate of infection is roughly around 8.6%, which is where it’s stayed since June 14. Cities like Decatur and Mobile have decided to cancel their 4th of July celebrations due to the rise in cases. 

7 days ago

7 Things: Obama and Biden targeted Flynn, Alabama Dems want to repeal Memorial Preservation Act, Senate Dems don’t want to discuss police reform and more …

(YHN)

7. Oh no, please, let me go to New York

  • Alabama has officially made the list of states (along with Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas) that three Northeastern governors have declared must quarantine for 14 days if they are going to travel to their states.
  • New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have banded together to block these citizens, even though this move is completely unenforceable and leaves out a current hot spot like California.

6. More Republican politicians are coming around on masks

731

  • As COVID-19 cases continue to grow throughout the country, Republican officials across the country are finding themselves calling for masks to be worn, although not required. 
  • U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says, “Everyone should just wear the damn mask.” Last week, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has reversed his position blocking cities from implementing mask bans. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) also wants GOP convention-goers to wear masks when the Republican National Convention comes to Jacksonville.

5. Secretary of State Merrill says Democrats are inflaming racial tensions

  • Recently, the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State released an ad that reinforces the idea that requiring a photo ID and other ballot laws are “rooted in white supremacy,” but Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is pushing back against this narrative. 
  • With Merrill as chair of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee, the record number of voters registered throughout the state while he’s been in office is being used as an example against this narrative. Merrill said, “Democrats are spreading lies and inflaming racial tensions at a time when our country most needs unity, Republicans are leading by example and giving citizens a voice and an opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

4. Democrats oppose police reform

  • The police reform bill that was led by Republicans failed in the U.S. Senate when it was voted down by Democrats. The vote to start a debate was 55-45, with only three Democrats, including U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), voting with Republicans.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said “our Democratic colleagues are poised to turn this routine step into a partisan impasse,” but the main differences between the Republican and Democrat bills were that Democrats want to outright ban chokeholds, while Republicans want a ban unless an officer’s life is being threatened. Also, Democrats want to end qualified immunity. 

3. State Rep. Hall demands monument everyone agrees should be removed must be removed

  • State Representative Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) went to the Madison County Courthouse to advocate for the removal of the Confederate monument that stands outside, and as it’s up to the Madison County Commission, Hall voiced concern “about the commission’s commitment to move forward.”
  • The commission has decided to request permission to remove the monument, but since it’s over 40 years old it’s illegal to remove due to the 2017 Memorial Preservation Act and removal would result in a $25,000 fine. While Hall has called this law “unjust,” Commissioner JesHenry Malone is asking for people to be patient as they work through the legalities of having the state moved.

2. Repeal the Memorial Preservation Act?

  • House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) has previously spoken out against the state funding of the Confederate Memorial Park, and now he’s called on the state to remove the Confederate flag from State Trooper uniforms and repeal the 2017 Memorial Preservation Act. 
  • Daniels explained that he supports “fully repealing the 2017 preservation act” and very plainly explained that “it would make me feel good to remove the Confederate statues or any semblance of Confederacy in general.” He also said there needs to be more comprehension of what the Civil War was all about, and questioned how do we change “the hearts and minds of the people that are governing this state.”

1. Flynn case dismissed, Obama/Biden implicated

  • After being requested by the Justice Department and a ruling from a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has been dismissed by a lower court on the same day it was revealed that former President Barack Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden pushed for his investigation even after disgraced former FBI Director James Comey told them that the Flynn call with the Russians was “legit.”
  • The direct order was for “Flynn’s petition for a writ of mandamus be granted in part; the District Court is directed to grant the government’s … motion to dismiss; and the District Court’s order appointing an amicus is hereby vacated as moot, in accordance with the opinion of the court filed herein this date.” President Donald Trump has called this decision “Great!” but the judge still seems unlikely to make a move.

1 week ago

7 Things: False alarm with noose at Talladega, Alabama investigating people refusing to work, Jones campaigns on ‘racial justice’ and more …

(YHN)

7. Biden finally allows Obama to help him

  • After pretending he asked former President Barack Obama not to endorse him, former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign held a fundraiser with Obama where they raised $11 million overall
  • Obama has stayed pretty quiet about supporting anyone during this election, even though he did finally endorse Biden when he was the only candidate left in the Democratic primary. He implored Democrats to do more to support Biden’s campaign. 

6. An employee in lieutenant governor’s office tests positive for coronavirus

657

  • A “part-time employee” from the Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth’s office has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a release from Ainsworth’s office. The release specified that the employee only works “a handful of hours each week.”
  • The statement also specified that the employee that tested positive was already working in a separate workspace from everyone else and the last time they were in office was last Thursday. All of the workspaces are being cleaned, and employees will work from home while everyone’s coronavirus test results come back. 

5. Jones is campaigning on equality

  • While U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) could be facing former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions or former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, he’s now campaigning on equality. In his first campaign ad, he’s asking people to “join” him on “the road to racial justice.”
  • The ad, titled “Together,” is Jones discussing the death of George Floyd and a push for equality, saying, “Across Alabama folks are struggling with seeing this injustice and inequality and wanting to see that end. We cannot let this moment pass. The road to racial justice has taken far too long—but it’s a journey that we must make and we must make it together. Come join me.”

4. Attack ads are out against Sessions

  • GRIT PAC has released an attack ad against former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the 2020 U.S. Senate election, using quotes of what President Donald Trump has had to say about Sessions. Meanwhile, a Trump-backed candidate in South Carolina just got crushed and handed the president a rare primary loss.
  • The ad points out how Trump has described Sessions as “scared stiff,” “weak,” “mixed up,” “confused” and “ineffective.” The narrator of the ad goes on to say, “Trump couldn’t count on career politician Jeff Sessions to have his back, because Sessions only looked out for himself — that’s what career politicians do.”

3. Coronavirus vaccine is coming

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci went before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee about the coronavirus and he said that getting a coronavirus vaccine is a matter of “when and not if.”
  • Fauci went on to add that the coronavirus vaccine could be ready as soon as the end of this year, or early next year, and the United States has continued to increase testing to fight the virus, with about 27.5 million Americans having been tested.

2. You’ll lose benefits if you refuse to work

  • As the state has reopened, many people have gone back to work, but some have refused to go back. Many speculated people would refuse to go back to work when the federal government added $600 per week to state unemployment benefits. 
  • There have been 3,336 employees reported by their employers for refusing to return to work, and about two-thirds of those are under review while one third have lost benefits. Department of Labor spokesperson Tara Hutchinson has even clarified that “a general fear” of the coronavirus “is not a valid reason” to not return to work. 

1. No noose is good news

  • NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has been making headlines after it was reported that a noose was found in the garage for the car he drives, and with Wallace being the only black driver in NASCAR, the news warranted investigations into if this was a racially motivated attack. It was determined to be false, but Wallace seems motivated to keep this controversy going.
  • As the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice investigated the incident, they found that the “noose” in question had actually been in the garage since at least October 2019 and is part of the garage. According to a release from U.S. District Attorney Jay Town, “nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned for garage number 4 last week.”

1 week ago

7 Things: Trump signs immigration restrictions, polling shows Jones loses to both Sessions and Tuberville, COVID-19 cases falling in Alabama and more …

(YHN)

7. Ivey apologizes and U.S. Attorney promises to investigate noose at Talladega

  • The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Jay Town, has announced an investigation into the allegation that someone left a noose in the garage of the only black driver in NASCAR, Bubba Wallace, at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • In a statement posted to Twitter, Wallace said this “despicable act of racism and hatred” has left him “incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society.” Governor Kay Ivey also addressed the incident, saying she’s “shocked and appalled” at the action, adding “there is no place for this disgusting display of hatred in our state.” The incident is now being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

6. Birmingham isn’t renaming 16th street

586

  • 16th Street North in Birmingham has recently been considered for renaming to “Black Lives Matter Boulevard,” but the Birmingham City Council has changed direction at the request of activists. 
  • In a letter to the Birmingham City Council, activists argued that renaming a street that played a historical role in the civil rights movement wouldn’t send the same strong political statement that it has in places like Washington, D.C., but instead, “Renaming 16th Street would disrespect the very movement that undergirds this current fight for justice.”

5. There will be three presidential debates

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign has agreed to have three presidential debates during the general election against President Donald Trump, but said that Trump asking for more debates is just him trying “to change the subject” and create a distraction.
  • Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon in a letter wrote that Biden “will accept and participate in the Commission’s planned Presidential candidates’ debates for September 29, October 15, and October 22.” She went on to add that they “hope that President Trump would not break that tradition or make excuses for a refusal to participate.”

4. No football could bring major hurt to local economies

  • For Tuscaloosa, not having college football this fall could be “economically catastrophic,” according to Mayor Walt Maddox. He added, “Even a mitigated football season with restricted attendance and number of ball games would have dire economic consequences.”
  • From 2014-2015, Tuscaloosa County saw $18.8 million in economic impact per home game, which totaled $131.5 million by the end of the season, but if coronavirus cases continue it’ll be more difficult to have a full football season and packed stadiums safely. 

3. Coronavirus cases are starting to go down again

  • After seeing a considerable spike in coronavirus cases throughout Alabama in recent weeks, it seems that daily case numbers are finally falling again, with only 433 cases confirmed on Monday. 
  • Over the weekend, there were 472 cases on Sunday and 543 cases on Saturday, which is vastly different than the previous weekend when we saw 1,902 cases. Now the state’s seven-day average has fallen to 591.3, which is the lowest it’s been since June 11. 

2. Tuberville potentially does better against Jones than Sessions, but they both win

  • The data firm Cygnal has released more polling data on the 2020 U.S. Senate race, in which former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in a July runoff to determine who will be on the ballot against U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November. 
  • In a general election scenario, both Tuberville and Sessions would defeat Jones, but Tuberville does a bit better with 49.7% and Jones at 35.7% and 12.7% undecided, whereas when Sessions is put in the equation, he gathers 44.7% against Jones’ 35.2%, with 17.5% undecided. 

1. Trump signing executive order on immigration restrictions

  • President Donald Trump will expand immigration restrictions and limit the number of guest-worker programs allowed, which will include H-1B visas, through an executive order as many Americans are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Trump has already restricted some green cards, and this will be the first restrictions on guest-worker programs. The executive order will stop H-1B tech worker visas, some J work and education exchange visitor visas, L executive transfer visas and H-2B seasonal worker visas.

1 week ago

7 Things: Trump rallies with smaller than expected crowd, Alabama Democrats try to force Dismukes to resign, George Wallace the next target for cancellation and more …

(YHN)

7. Where is Biden?

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is the only candidate left seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, but he hasn’t held any kind of news conference in 80 days and people are starting to question why
  • Senior campaign advisor Symone Sanders was asked about this while on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, and Sanders said that Biden is still campaigning and still “following CDC guidelines.” She added that Biden is “prioritizing local media … the vice president is doing local media interviews, he’s doing national media interviews, and he is taking questions from reporters.”

6. More impeachment

624

  • As former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s book is set to be released, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) is suggesting that new impeachment articles and Bolton’s testimony could come soon
  • While appearing on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Schiff was asked by host Chuck Todd if they would wait until after the November election “to start the process,” and Schiff said that “if we conclude that there are important things he says that needs to be exposed to the public” they shouldn’t wait. He added, “Exposure of this president’s conduct is the best way to protect this country.”

5. Defund NASCAR?

  • Just before the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway, someone protesting NASCAR banning the Confederate flag flew a small plane over the speedway with a banner reading “DEFUND NASCAR.” Attached to the banner was also a Confederate flag. The GEICO 500 was the first NASCAR event to allow fans to attend, only allowing 5,000 people. 
  • It has also been found that a noose was left in the garage of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only black driver. NASCAR responded by promising to launch an immediate investigation to identify the person or persons responsible to “eliminate them from the sport.”

4. Marshall isn’t budging on defunding police

  • While speaking at the Fraternal Order of Police Conference in Lee County, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall made it clear that we won’t be defunding the police, but he did address the argument of more funding to mental health in Alabama by defunding police. 
  • Marshall explained that they “embrace the fact that we want to encourage more resources to be in place for mental health services,” but that shouldn’t be done “at the expense of law enforcement.” 

3. George Wallace is next

  • As there are efforts to remove Confederate names and monuments, there is now a push to remove former Alabama Governor George Wallace’s name from community colleges, streets, buildings and a tunnel. 
  • Through petitions on change.org, people are arguing that Wallace’s name should be removed from places due to his early stance on desegregation and statements such as “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

2. Dismukes isn’t going to resign

  • The Alabama Democratic Party is calling for State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) due to his “public support of the lost Confederate cause” after Dismukes posted a family picture at the Confederate Memorial Park. 
  • Alabama Democratic Party executive director Wade Perry said that Dismukes is “stuck in the past,” adding, “If little Will wants to play dress-up and pretend to fight for the lost cause, he should resign. His job is to pass laws that help Alabamians, not honor folks who fought to preserve the institution of slavery.” While Dismukes hasn’t released an official statement, he’s made it clear that he won’t resign. 

1. No one sabotaged the Trump rally

  • After a lower turnout than expected, just under 6,200 people, at President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally since the shutdowns due to the coronavirus, rumors began to spread that the 1 million ticket requests came from “teens on TikTok” looking to sabotage the rally. 
  • Campaign manager Brad Parscale has denied this narrative, saying, “Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don’t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work.” He went on to explain the process of getting rid of false ticket requests, but Parscale ultimately said that the low turnout was due to the media narrative about the coronavirus, riots and potential for violence at the event. 

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: Montgomery mandates masks as COVID-19 spikes, Trump may rally in Alabama, movement to defund Confederate Memorial Park and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will other cities join Montgomery in ordering citizens to wear masks with so many new COVID-19 cases?

— Will Trump join Tommy Tuberville for a Mobile rally, and will it matter?

— Will Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) succeed in defunding Confederate Memorial Park?

Jackson and Handback are joined by FM Talk 106.5’s Sean Sullivan to discuss the U.S House race in Alabama’s First Congressional District, its impact on the U.S. Senate race and the monument controversy.

59

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at everyone who has a problem with police officers being portrayed positively in the media as if it is a bad thing.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Supreme Court rules Trump can’t undo Obama executive order, Fauci suggests football may not be played even with no new lockdowns, states could ban Alabamians and more …

(YHN)

7. Police department quarantined

  • In Shelby County, a lot of the Harpersville Police Department is quarantining after Chief Jimmy Macon tested positive for the coronavirus. Macon has been asymptomatic and working from home. 
  • Mayor Don Greene has said that those who have been in close contact with Macon are quarantined while their coronavirus test results are processed. So far, two tests have come back negative but they’re waiting on the rest. 

6. Alabama losing hotel tax revenue

667

  • With the coronavirus pandemic essentially shutting down business for a time and then slowing business overall, Alabama could lose about $105.2 million in tax revenue from hotels. 
  • Oxford Economics and the American Hotel & Lodging Association conducted the study that delivered these estimates. The study also showed that the United States could see a loss of $16.8 billion in state and local taxes due to the pandemic. 

5. Shelby, Byrne and Roby sponsoring JUSTICE Act

  • U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has put together a police reform bill, Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and U.S. Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) have announced they’ll be co-sponsoring the bill. 
  • Scott has said that this bill “takes smart, common sense steps to address these issues, from ending the use of chokeholds and increasing the use of body worn cameras to providing more resources for police departments to better train officers and make stronger hiring decisions.” The bill is also being co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

4. Biden voters are only excited about beating Trump, but they are very excited

  • In a new Fox News poll, former Vice President Joe Biden is still leading President Donald Trump in the campaign for the White House, but the reason why most voters have chosen each candidate shows that Democrats just don’t want another Trump term. 
  • In a replay of polling and coverage from 2016, a Fox News poll shows Biden has 50% and Trump has 38%. But 63% of those voting for Biden are doing so because they don’t want Trump. Only 31% of voters are enthusiastic for Biden, compared to 62% of voters that are enthusiastic about Trump, while 33% are voting for Trump out of concern of a Biden presidency.

3. Alabama added to Kansas quarantine list

  • Due to a rise in coronavirus cases throughout the state, Alabama has been added to the travel quarantine list in Kansas with Arkansas, Maryland and Arizona. The Kansas Department of Public Health and Environment will now require those who travel to Alabama or live in Alabama to quarantine for two weeks after entering Kansas. 
  • During a town hall meeting, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) floated the idea of 14-day quarantines from states with a high number of coronavirus cases, when New York is far and away the nation’s number one coronavirus problem. 

2. Football might not be possible this year, but no new large-scale lockdowns

  • While on CNN, Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the possibility of having football back this fall, and said that if there’s a second wave of the coronavirus during the next flu season, it would likely complicate things. He plainly stated that “football may not happen this year.”
  • But Fauci also offered up some good news: As the United States begins to reopen, he said flare-ups might happen but issues like school reopenings and sports will be local decisions. He also doesn’t see the nation going back into lockdown.

1. Supreme Court upholds DACA

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was created through an executive order during President Barack Obama’s time in office. This comes after the President Donald Trump administration has tried to do away with the program. 
  • The Trump administration has argued that DACA is unconstitutional since immigration laws are only supposed to be created by Congress. In response to the news, U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said he’s “shocked” and that SCOTUS has set a precedent by upholding the programs that “was created by a single memo in the Obama Administration and exempted nearly 700,000 people from our immigration laws.” He added, “President Obama created a mess, and President Trump has attempted to clean it up.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Montgomery mayor demands masks, felony murder charge for police officer involved in Rayshard Brooks’ death, ‘Funnymaine’ and other protesters in Birmingham won’t be charged and more …

(YHN)

7. This is where they get Trump, apparently

  • It’s time for another week of silly media coverage over a book written by a disgruntled former President Donald Trump aide. This time, former National Security Advisor John Bolton alleges Trump wanted Chinese President Xi Jinping to help with his reelection, Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks Trump is a dope, and that Trump has no real foreign policy plan and is focused on reelection. 
  • This is hardly the first anti-Trump book that the media gave their own specials and breathless coverage. Books by Michael Wolff, Omarosa, David Frum, April Ryan, Jim Acosta, Bob Woodward and even an anonymous op-ed writer got some attention, but none of them had much of an actual impact.

6. Port of Mobile project officially happening

570

  • The Alabama State Port Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have officially partnered for the Project Partnership Agreement to widen and deepen the Mobile Harbor Ship Channel. 
  • U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that this agreement is “yet another milestone in the deepening and widening of the Port of Mobile.” Shelby is also the reason why only 25% of the project is state funded and 75% of funds will come from the federal government. 

5. Alabama has appealed judge’s ruling on absentee voting

  • Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is fighting back against U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s decision to dismiss absentee ballot application requirements of multiple witnesses or a notary and a copy of a photo ID by taking the appeal to a higher court. 
  • The decision made by Kallon would’ve affected Jefferson, Mobile and Lee Counties. In the appeal, Merrill is listed as a defendant, along with local officials from each of the three counties. 

4. Sessions says removal of monuments is “almost an erasing of history”

  • As monuments for Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln come under attack, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that there is no “real discussion” on removing Confederate monuments before these decisions are made.
  • Sessions added that “it’s a demonizing of anybody who was not perfect.” He also advised that cities in Alabama need to follow the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act to take these statues down.

3. Some arrested at Birmingham protests won’t be charged

  • Not only will Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson not face penalties for inciting a riot, but 27 other people who were arrested during protests in Birmingham also won’t be prosecuted, as announced by Birmingham City Attorney Nicole King. More than 70 people were arrested at protests between June 1-7. 
  • Those who aren’t being charged were arrested simply for violating curfew or not dispersing, but otherwise protested peacefully. Those who caused damage will be prosecuted.

2. The officer involved in Rayshard Brooks shooting charged with felony murder

  • In Atlanta, police officer Garrett Rolfe has been charged with felony murder and 10 other offenses, which would lead to life in prison if convicted for shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot. The other officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, is being charged with aggravated assault, along with other charges. 
  • District Attorney Paul Howard said that “Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat” to Rolfe. He added that while Brooks had taken a taser from officers, he was running away and stood 18 feet 3 inches from them when the shooting took place. It’s also been reported that Rolfe proceeded to kick Brooks even after he had been shot. Brosnan has agreed to testify at the trial. 

1. Montgomery mayor demands masks

  • As COVID-19 cases spike in Montgomery and hospitals see more patients, Mayor Steven Reed issued an executive order requiring that masks be worn in public that carries a penalty of $25. This comes one day after the city council refused to mandate masks.
  • Speaking on the order, Reed said, “As you know we’ve been encouraging our community to wear masks. Most of our community has done just that. However, not enough members of the community have done those things and so we start to go from an encouragement to an enforcement phase.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Police reform executive order signed, UAB doctors want you to wear a mask, COVID-19 numbers climbing and more …

(YHN)

7. Virginia governor looking to make Juneteenth a holiday

  • Virginia “Governor Blackface” Ralph Northam has announced that he will move to make Juneteenth an official state holiday, which is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery. 
  • Juneteenth was recently in headlines as President Donald Trump had a campaign rally scheduled for that day in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but the rally has since been moved. Recently in Virginia, Northam also announced that they had removed the statue of Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue in Richmond. 

6. Voting restrictions changing ahead of July 14 runoff

714

  • U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon has issued a preliminary injunction to limit some of the restrictions placed on absentee voting, limiting enforcement of the requirement for two witnesses or a notary and providing a photo ID copy. 
  • The ruling will also prevent some restrictions on curbside voting at polling places. A senior counsel of the Legal Defense Fund, Deuel Ross, said they’re “happy that the Court removed Alabama’s needless barriers to voting and that many tens of thousands of vulnerable people will now have a safe means of voting in July.”

5. Renaming the Edmund Pettus Bridge

  • In Selma, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a U.S. Senator, leader in the Confederacy and white supremacist, might be renamed after a petition has already been signed by more than 114,000 people to change the name. 
  • The petition requests that the bridge be renamed after U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), who was also heavily involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and was one of the organizers for the Selma to Montgomery March. Lewis was beaten by Alabama State Troopers during the march and suffered a fractured skull. 

4. Brooks isn’t pleased with recent SCOTUS decision

  • The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided that LGBTQ people will be protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects them from discrimination due to gender identity or sexual orientation. U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said that was “the dumbest I’ve read” of SCOTUS decisions. 
  • On Twitter, Brooks posted his thoughts on the issue, saying, “There is a difference between SEX (over which person has NO control) & CONDUCT (over which person has TOTAL control). In a Republic, ELECTED reps make law. APPOINTED judges interpret law. Bad.” When asked about the issue, Brooks said that it’s a “POLICY matter decided by ELECTED representatives IN A REPUBLIC.”

3. Positive test rates increasing in the state

  • One of the coronavirus testing clinics in Huntsville, Thrive Alabama, has started reporting much higher positive rates in recent weeks, but the amount of people they’ve tested has stayed mostly the same. Thrive CEO Mary Elizabeth Marr is contributing this to the state reopening and “people are not social distancing, they are not wearing masks.”
  • The amount of positive tests coming back had been 3% and then jumped to 14%, which led Marr to notify Mayor Tommy Battle, Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers and Crestwood Medical Center CEO Dr. Pam Hudson. Marr said that we just have to wait and “see what happens this week,” but she’s hoping people take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. 

2. UAB wants you to wear a mask, Montgomery doesn’t require it

  • The Jefferson County Health Officer and doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham addressed a spike in coronavirus cases across the state, and they’re encouraging everyone to wear masks as hospitalizations increase. Director of UAB Division of Infectious Disease Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo said this is not part of a second wave because “we never stopped having the first wave.” 
  • In Montgomery, the city council debated a mandatory mask ordinance but could not get support to pass it, so they settled on an official request that citizens wear masks. Councilman Brantley Lyons stated, “At the end of the day, if an illness or a pandemic comes through we do not throw our constitutional rights out the window.”

1. Police reform executive order signed

  • In a new executive order on police reform that President Donald Trump has signed, “chokeholds will be banned except if an officer’s life is at risk.” While speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump added, “We’re united by our desire to ensure peace and dignity and equality for all Americans.” The order also creates a federal database of police officers with a history of using excessive force and encourages the use of social workers and individuals trained in mental health issues for non-violent calls.
  • While speaking about those who have lost loved ones at the hands of police officers unjustly, Trump promised that “your loved ones will not have died in vain.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: COVID-19 death projections double in U.S. and Alabama, Trump could be headed to Alabama to rally for Tuberville, Trump addresses Rayshard Brooks shooting and more …

(YHN)

7. Football coach apologizes for wearing a T-shirt with a cable news logo

  • Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy embarrassingly appeared in a video tweeted by one of his players where he sheepishly addressed a controversy about “today’s tweet with the T-shirt I was wearing” and promising changes to his program. The shirt in question had a logo for One America News Network, a conservative cable channel.
  • Former OSU players complained about the shirt, and Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said, “This afternoon has been very disturbing. The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern,” so it is unclear if being conservative is allowed in sports anymore.

6. Church of the Highlands pastor is very changed after being berated by media

591

  • Pastor Chris Hodges of the Church of the Highlands was recently criticized for liking posts by president of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk, and now he’s said that he’s “not the same Chris Hodges I was two weeks ago.”
  • Hodges added that he’s “been tested, stripped, disciplined, broken” and that he’s still got “a long way to go.” During the whole social media firestorm, the Birmingham Housing Authority and Birmingham Board of Education cut ties with the church, which means the church can no longer volunteer with the housing authority or rent facilities at Parker and Woodlawn High Schools.

5. New York doesn’t want to know if new cases came from protests

  • In the fight against the coronavirus, New York City has hired 1,000 people to do contact tracing on those who test positive for the virus, but they’re ignoring one big area that’s been speculated to spread the virus – protests.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio spokesperson Avery Cohen said, “No person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest.” But they will be asked about living situations and contacts. Information about protests will only be found if offered by the patient.

4. LGBTQ+ is now a protected class

  • In a U.S. Supreme Court decision, those who are LGBTQ will be protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from discrimination in the workplace, so that they cannot be let go of or not considered for a job due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, which is already the law in many states.
  • The final vote was 6-3, with Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito voting against the decision. Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., Justices Neil Gorsuch, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen voted in favor.

3. Trump: Rayshard Brooks shooting was “very disturbing”

  • After the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta during a confrontation with police, there has been public outcry and comparisons of Brooks and George Floyd in Minneapolis, and now President Donald Trump has spoken up on the issue, saying that the death of Brooks was “very disturbing.”
  • During a roundtable event at the White House, Trump said that he “thought it was a terrible situation.” An autopsy has found that Brooks was shot in the back twice, and both officers involved have been fired.

2. Trump could be coming to Alabama to show his support for Tuberville

  • As the U.S. Senate runoff in Alabama is scheduled for July 14, it’s been reported by CNN that President Donald Trump will visit Mobile to campaign for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. 
  • Tuberville’s opponent, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Trump in 2016, responded to the news of another Trump visit by tweeting, “The people of Alabama will not be told who to vote for,” but added, “It’s always a good day when the President of the United States visits Alabama.”

1. Second-most cases per capita in Alabama

  • Over the last week, June 8-14, the second-highest rate of coronavirus cases found per capita was in Alabama, as the state also saw a record number of cases for several days with 12.2 coronavirus cases per 10,000 people were added throughout the week.
  • Additionally, the Institute for Metrics and Health’s death projections for Alabama have more than doubled, with a projection of total deaths moving from 1,356 to 3,612 and the projection has now soared to over 200,000 nationwide.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: COVID-19 cases keep jumping, Sessions and Jones spar on renaming bases, police shooting in Atlanta and more …

(YHN)

7. Push to defund Confederate Park

  • Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) is now calling for the Confederate Memorial Park in Chilton County to stop receiving funds from tax money, which Daniels has said is “not appropriate.”
  • The park, owned by the Alabama Historical Commission, receives roughly $600,000 per year to be maintained. Daniels said that there are better things this money “could go than to fund something that brings a lot of pain back to Alabamians.”

6. Confederate statue in Mobile headed to a museum

513

  • The Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes statue in Mobile was removed on June 5, and now Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has announced that the statue is being relocated to the History Museum of Mobile permanently. 
  • Stimpson said that moving the statue is “the right thing to do for our community moving forward,” and added, “The values represented by this monument a century ago are not the values of Mobile in 2020.” Stimpson also explained that this decision was made through “research by a team of lawyers, historians, and city officials.”

5. No one is going to defund the police

  • U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has said that he’s going to push for “reimagining” of law enforcement and Congress won’t move to defund police departments.
  • Clyburn went on to say that “nobody is going to defund the police,” despite outcry from the public for doing just that. He added that we have to make sure that the role police play “is one that meets the times, one that responds to these communities that they operate in.”

4. Racist graffiti found in Huntsville

  • Over the weekend, an overpass at Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue in Huntsville were spray painted black with swastikas and “black lives don’t matter.”
  • Other areas of the overpass were tagged with “white rights matter” and “f—king n——r” with more swastikas. The graffiti was removed promptly and the Huntsville Police Department is investigating the incident. 

3. Rayshard Brooks is not George Floyd

  • In Atlanta, Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed during an encounter with the police, and U.S. Senator Tom Scott (R-SC) said that this situation shows a further need for change in police departments throughout the country. 
  • Scott said that the situation with Brooks is “a far less clear one” than the situation with George Floyd in Minneapolis. He continued, “One of the challenges in these split-second decisions is the need for more training, that’s why the de-escalation aspect is so important.”

2. Sessions says Jones will bow before the “woke mob”

  • After U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voted to rename all military installation, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that if Jones and his “woke mob” had their way they would raze the Jefferson and Washington Memorials.
  • On Twitter, Jones’ millennial social media team told Sessions to “delete your account” before baselessly declaring that a man that prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan and bankrupted them that it is “tough for you to be on the right side of history when it comes to the Confederacy.”

1. Multiple days of record highs

  • Alabama gained 1,014 coronavirus cases yesterday, which is the largest amount of cases found in one day since the virus tracking started in the state. 
  • Daily cases have been increasing across the country since states have reopened, but the number of deaths continues to decline. In fact, Sunday’s deaths were the lowest daily total since March 26. 

3 weeks ago

VIDEO: Monuments go down all over, explaining the #DefundThePolice movement, Senate race in Alabama gets closer and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will any monuments remain standing, and what will be changed next?

— Why are liberal political elites and talking heads so quick to try to paint a movement to defund the police as something less terrible?

— Are former Senator Jeff Sessions and former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville headed to a close election for the GOP U.S. Senate nod in Alabama?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to discuss the city’s reaction to multiple protests and the potential removal of a Confederate monument in his city.

49

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at everyone who has a problem with police officers being portrayed positively in the media as if it is a bad thing.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=259623045101898

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump has a police reform plan, Sessions gains steam as Tuberville joins the president in Texas, Alabama comedian charged with inciting a riot and more …

(YHN)

7. Theaters are reopening in July

  • There are 18 AMC Theater locations in Alabama, and they’re all set to reopen in July amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a maximum capacity of 50% and strict sanitation policies.
  • Most movie theaters are expected to start opening throughout the country in July, including Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, and while movie theaters have been allowed to reopen in Alabama since May 23, most have stayed closed.

6. Barkley isn’t in favor of defunding the police

572

  • Former Auburn basketball player and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been somewhat politically outspoken in more recent years, and while on CNN with host Wolf Blitzer, he discussed the issue of George Floyd’s death while in police custody and defunding police.
  • Barkley said that Floyd’s death is a “disgrace” and an issue “about humanity.” He added that if you aren’t upset by his death, no matter your background, “there is something wrong with you,” and while “most of the cops do a fantastic job,” we need “police reform” and not “defunding.”

5. Sadly, Biden might be right

  • During an economic reopening roundtable, former Vice President Joe Biden commented on the protests that have taken place after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. He said that “Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did.”
  • Biden added that cell phone usage is what has helped make the big change, saying, “It’s changed the way everybody’s looking at this.” He also commented on the “millions of people” protesting worldwide.

4. “Funnymaine” is being charged

  • A local comedian known as Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson from the Birmingham area attended protests late last month, and is now being charged by Jefferson County with inciting a riot due to his comments made at the protest.
  • Johnson intends to plead “not guilty,” and while he started off the night of protests on May 31 peacefully, there is a video of him later on saying to a crowd, “We need to tear some something down tonight. They need to see Birmingham, the home of the civil rights movement, tear some sh-t down tonight.” Looting and rioting later took place throughout the city that night.

3. Tuberville is hanging out on Air Force One

  • President Donald Trump stopped Air Force One in Dallas, Texas, to see former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, who then joined Trump on board.
  • In the U.S. Senate race, Trump has been very vocal about his support of Tuberville, and he apparently went to Dallas to have a roundtable discussion on law enforcement and race since the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which Tuberville has been rather quiet about.

2. Another poll shows that Sessions has gained on Tuberville

  • Recent polling data indicates that the lead former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville previously had over former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions no longer exists in Alabama’s First and Second Congressional Districts, where primary runoffs could bring higher turnout, and a new poll from the Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) shows them tied.
  • The AFA poll shows Sessions and Tuberville each with 41.99% while 16% are still undecided. This just validates the internal polling data released by Sessions’ campaign this week, but the AFA has also predicted “extremely low turnout” for the runoff on July 14, which is likely to help Sessions.

1. Trump has announced how he’ll combat police brutality

  • President Donald Trump has said that in the wake of George Floyd’s death, he’s going to take steps to increase economic opportunities in minority communities, work with Congress to enact school choice, and find ways to address health care issues in the black community, but he will not cut funding to police departments.
  • Trump said that rather than defunding police departments, departments will be held to the “most current standards on use of force,” and he added,“We’re going to have a stronger police force.”

3 weeks ago

7 Things: More monuments to fall, Sessions rejects calls to defund law enforcement, NASCAR to return to Talladega and more …

(YHN)

7. Military bases aren’t changing their names

  • Confederate monuments across the country have been coming down, and some groups have turned their attention to military bases with Confederate names, but President Donald Trump has said that these bases will keep their names. 
  • These bases include Fort Rucker in Alabama, as well as Forts Bragg, Lee, Hood, Gordon, Benning, A.P. Hill, Picket, Polk and Camp Beauregard. Trump said that his “Administration will not even consider the renaming of these magnificent and fabled military installations. Our history as the greatest nation in the world will not be tampered with. Respect our military!”

6. Trump’s approval rating has dropped

658

  • A new Gallup poll was conducted from May 28 until June 4, which was just after George Floyd’s death, and it shows that President Donald Trump’s approval rating has fallen 10 points to 39%.
  • Trump’s approval rating is at the lowest among Republicans since September 2018, but it’s still at 85%, while it’s dropped to 39% with independents and 5% with Democrats. Trump’s job approval on the coronavirus pandemic is 58% disapprove and 42% approve.

5. Huntsville could be the largest Alabama city in two years

  • Based on data collected and estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Huntsville has continued to grow in population every year, having the largest growth of any city from 2010-2019, and now Huntsville is set to become the largest city within two years.
  • After passing Montgomery last year, Huntsville is currently the second-largest city in Alabama, but the largest city, Birmingham, has been losing population for seven out of the last nine years, seeing a total of 1.3% population decrease. Birmingham now has less people than any time within the last 100 years.

4. HPD is going before the City Council

  • After tear gas was used at protests in downtown Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle has asked that Police Chief Mark McMurray “provide an after-action review of recent protest events that led to the use of tear gas and pepper spray by City police,” according to a press release. 
  • The meeting with Huntsville police and the City Council will take place on June 18, which will be a separate meeting from the Huntsville Police Advisory Council after-action review that’s being suggested by Councilwoman Frances Akridge Thursday and will be voted on June 25. 

3. NASCAR is bringing some fans back in Alabama

  • They can’t bring Confederate flags, but on June 21, 5,000 people will be allowed to attend the Gieco 500 NASCAR Cup Series at the Talladega Superspeedway, as announced by NASCAR. Governor Kay Ivey said she’s “excited to see our NASCAR fans have a chance to attend the upcoming race at Talladega Superspeedway.”
  • The number of 5,000 attendees was chosen so that people can still socially distance, and “there will be limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots available outside the track high atop the Alabama Gang Superstretch,” according to a release from Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Communications Russell Branham.

2. Sessions won’t be supporting defunding the police

  • Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox Business Network with Maria Bartiromo and discussed the calls to defund police departments, saying the “whole thing is dangerous for our country.” He added, “Our police forces are critical to America, if we don’t support them we’ll see bad things happen.”
  • Sessions was asked about his interactions with U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Twitter on the subject, where he referenced Omar marrying her brother as a way to help him gain citizenship, but then got back on topic and said that if you start decreasing police presence then “the criminal element increases.” He added, “You’ll see death to good, innocent people. It is like night following day.”

1. More monuments likely coming down

  • The Madison County Commission has voted to remove the Confederate monument outside of the Madison County Courthouse in downtown Huntsville; the vote was unanimous after all seven commissioners spoke in favor of removing the monument, with Chairman Dale Strong saying removal is “fair and works for the people of all of Madison County.”
  • Commissioner JesHenry Malone said that taking the monument down makes Madison County “more inclusive.” Commissioner Phil Riddick commented that they “want to do it legally,” and they will now seek a waiver from the review committee, which will then have 90 days to make a decision. The City of Huntsville is working with the county commission to “find a suitable home for the monument in an appropriate historical context.”

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Push to defund the Birmingham police, GOP Senate race tightens in Alabama, asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 can happen now and more …

(YHN)

7. A woman from the Mobile protests is being charged federally

  • It’s alleged that during the May 31 protest in Mobile, Tia Deyon Pugh smashed the window on a police car while a police officer was still inside with a bat that she brought with her. She’s accused of being in the group that broke off from the protest to block I-10.
  • The broken police window was the only damage caused during the protest, other than the Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes monument being vandalized. FBI Special Agent Paul Roche has submitted an affidavit that Pugh admitted to breaking the window. The federal charges relate to disruption of interstate commerce and local charges of criminal mischief and inciting a riot.

6. Alabama prisons need to pick up on hiring

652

  • Alabama prisons are still under a court order to more than double the number of correctional officers. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has ordered for the Alabama Department of Correction to outline how they’ll manage to meet the staffing requirements as they’re far behind already. 
  • State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) has said Governor Kay Ivey needs to call a special session to address “criminal justice reform,” adding that the unconstitutional prison conditions in the state have gotten worse. Thompson noted that there are currently 1,413 correctional officers in ADOC, an increase of 112 in the last year, but the goal is 3,326 officers by February 2022.

5. Police reform is coming

  • In a combination of executive and legislative action, President Donald Trump will be revealing a list of police reform proposals. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has been meeting with senior advisor Jared Kushner, House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and domestic policy adviser Ja’Ron Smith to develop the legislative steps.
  • This comes after protests have continued over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, who both died in the presence of police. While people have said they want Trump to address the nation over these issues, White House officials have said that it’s Trump’s position that “actions speak louder than words.” An announcement about policies is expected later this week.

4. Three students = a movement?

  • Three former students of Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery have started a petition with the goal of changing the school’s name, as well as the name of Jeff Davis and Sydney Lanier high schools and asking that the statue of Lee be removed from the high school. 
  • Lee, Davis and Lanier were all part of the Confederacy. The three Lee graduates brought their argument to the Montgomery Public Schools board Tuesday night. One of the organizers, Amerika Blair, who graduated in 2009, said, “Knowing that those students have to walk past and celebrate a man basically who did not believe in their basic humanity is very insulting.”

3. COVID-19 can once again spread asymptomatically

  • It was widely reported that the World Health Organization had found that the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 was “very rare,” but now the troubled organization is less sure of that information than they initially let on.
  • The WHO is now saying that people without symptoms may make up to 40% of transmissions, causing more mistrust and confusion.

2. Sessions gaining on Tuberville?

  • Previously, a poll was conducted that showed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville had a 23-point lead over former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a more recent poll shows Sessions may be closing that gap.
  • A new poll conducted by Massage, Inc. conducted phone surveys of 600 Republican primary voters from May 26-27, and while Tuberville is still ahead, he’s only at 49% while Sessions is at 43%. Sessions campaign manager Jon Jones said, “Jeff Sessions has the momentum in this race. This is a one-on-one matchup, and voters increasingly see that Tommy Tuberville just isn’t prepared to be a leader and represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.”

1. People want to redirect funding from the Birmingham Police Department

  • As groups across the country call for police departments to be defunded, a few people who attended a Birmingham City Council meeting asked that funds from the Birmingham Police Department, which has a budget of $92 million, be redirected to some social services. 
  • One citizen that spoke at the meeting was Onoyemi Williams, the co-chair of Faith in Action Alabama. She is asking that the city take $1.5 million of the department’s funding toward community programs. Faith in Action Alabama’s Twitter account specified it would be in “anti-gun violence street outreach strategy that has reduced gun violence in other cities by 40-60%.”

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is rare, Confederate symbols fall, Decatur PD under scrutiny for old case and more …

(YHN)

7. Church of the Highlands can’t help public housing residents

  • Birmingham’s Church of the Highlands was providing multiple services to residents of the Birmingham Housing Authority, but that relationship was ended when it was discovered that Pastor Chris Hodges was committing and apologizing for the unforgivable crime of liking social media posts by conservative activists Charlie Kirk.
  • Some of the posts he liked included posts showing President Donald Trump receiving an award with Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks and comparing him to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, President Barack Obama playing golf when Michelle Obama was urging people to stay home and another post referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus.”

6. GoFundMe for Birmingham business stopped

666

  • The co-owner of Parkside Café, Michael Dykes, in Birmingham recently said in a message to employees that George Floyd was a “thug,” while he expressed his frustration with the city curfew due to the protests and riots over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, and now a GoFundMe for Parkside has been stopped.
  • Some of the Parkside employees resigned after seeing Dykes’ message, including Lacey King, who said that this is “just one example” of “the evil texts I’ve received from [Dykes] over the years.” The GoFundMe was originally organized by Candace Owens to help the business amid the controversy, but GoFundMe stopped the fundraiser since it seemed “to be in support of hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind.”

5. Campaign rallies coming back

  • Within the next 14 days, President Donald Trump is planning to continue holding 2020 presidential campaign rallies, which had been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said, “Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump.”
  • Recent polls have shown that support for Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, but as the most recent poll was done by CNN, Trump responded with a tweet saying, “CNN Polls are as Fake as their Reporting.” He added that in 2016, there were the “Same numbers and worse, against Crooked Hillary. The Dems would destroy America!”

4. March case under criticism after video is made public

  • In Decatur, a business owner, Kevin Penn, called the police to report a robbery and let them know that he was holding the robber at gunpoint, but when police arrived, Penn was punched in the face for not obeying police orders. While this incident occurred on March 15, it’s facing new criticism as the video was made public recently.
  • Decatur police Officer J. Rippen, according to court records, wrote that Penn “refused to obey lawful commands to put down and back away from a firearm while officers were attempting to investigate a robbery.” Penn stated, “I’m not going to put my gun down.” It has not been made clear if the suspected robber was ever charged with a crime.

3. Confederate plaques being removed from University of Alabama campus

  • At the University of Alabama, there are three Confederate memorial plaques that are being removed and relocated to a “more appropriate historical setting,” as decided by the Board of Trustees of the UA System and UA president Stuart Bell.
  • The university has also put together a group of trustees that will review building names on campuses, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alabama flagship campus in Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. This comes after the university Student Government Association requested that some buildings on campus be renamed.

2. Removal of Confederate monument in Madison County could be paid for

  • The Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance has offered to pay the $25,000 fine that Madison County could face if they remove the Confederate monument in Downtown Huntsville, saying that “it’s worth paying the fine to remove this racist symbol from the heart of the community.”
  • The group has said that they’re “ready to write a check to the Madison County Commission to reimburse taxpayers for this fine.” This comes as many places across the country are facing calls to remove Confederate statues as people protest the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

1. Now the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is “very rare”

  • The World Health Organization has come out and said that asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus is “very rare,” which contradicts the earlier narrative surrounding the virus that it would be difficult to keep numbers of infection down due to asymptomatic spread.
  • Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of WHO’s disease and zoonosis unit, said “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.”

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Over 20,000 cases of COVID-19 in Alabama, defunding the police, the war on history escalates and more …

(YHN)

7. No more Confederate flags for Marines

  • The Marine Corps has officially banned public displays of the Confederate flag, and on their Twitter, they said that the “flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps.”
  • Banned displays include on mugs, shirts and bumper stickers. An administrative message says commanders “must exercise best judgement and discretion” while conducting inspections of work areas and public spaces, but personal living spaces, vehicles, lockers, backpacks and barracks rooms won’t be inspected.

6. Auburn players test positive for coronavirus

587

  • Voluntary workouts are set to begin Monday, but three of the Auburn players that returned to campus on Thursday tested positive for the coronavirus. All three of the players were asymptomatic.
  • The players are going to remain in a self-isolated quarantine for two weeks, and when they arrived before being tested, they only had contact with their roommates and team personnel. The players who tested positive haven’t been identified.

5. Two charged in killing of Moody police officer

  • Two suspects, Tapero Corlene Johnson and Marquisha Anissa Tyson have been charged with capital murder for the killing of Moody Police Lt. Stephen Williams. St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray has said that the ongoing investigation is “complex and intense.”
  • Johnson and Tyson had been in police custody since the shooting on Tuesday night, and it’s been determined that they fired on Williams while he was responding to a call about a disturbance. Governor Kay Ivey has said that Williams “died a hero.”

4. Sessions is going to stand up for values against everyone

  • While speaking at the Baldwin County GOP Coffee Club meeting, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that if he hadn’t properly represented Republicans of Alabama previously then “you don’t need me to go back.” He added, “Vote for somebody else.”
  • Sessions went on to advocate for President Donald Trump’s agenda and say that he still wants to advance it. He even said that he’s “not afraid of any of them” when talking about other Republicans in the Senate that may not stand for Republican values.

3. The war on history is underway

  • The Student Government Association at the University of Alabama has released a statement asking that all buildings on campus with “racist namesakes” be renamed, adding that they’re also asking for “a review of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.”
  • Since the protests have started, Confederate memorials are not the only ones that have been targeted with statues of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, a black Civil War regiment in Massachuttes and an anti-lynching memorial in Minnesota have been attacked and vandalized.

2. Defunding the police?

  • As protests over George Floyd’s death have continued, protesters have started calling for police departments to be defunded, an idea supported by Black Lives Matter as co-founder Alicia Garza explained they we should “invest in the resources that our communities need.” idea.”
  • In response to this, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has said that defunding police departments across the nation “is a ridiculous idea.” He went on to say, “We need order in our streets. And the easiest way to have that is to have a strong presence of character-driven law enforcement officers.”

1. Alabama sees 20,000+ cases of COVID-19

  • It’s been just over three months since the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed in Alabama, and now we have just over 20,000 cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The positive rate of tests has stayed at 8% or lower as the number of tests being done grows.
  • State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says the protests could lead to more positive cases, stating, “[L]arge numbers of people who are not practicing social distancing, who are speaking loudly or maybe yelling, and standing close together, who aren’t wearing face masks in many cases — those are the ways we know this disease gets transmitted.” He added, “I think we’re a little worried about what the numbers may look like over the next couple of weeks.”

4 weeks ago

VIDEO: Protests grip Alabama and the nation, Confederate monuments fall, COVID-19 disappears from the news and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Do protests have to end in tear gas?

— Are Confederate monuments about to be toppled all over the state?

— Where did the coronavirus pandemic counters go on cable news? Did the virus go away?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Rev. Dexter Strong to discuss the protests in Huntsville and the law enforcement reaction to them.

57

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at all the politicians, police, National Guardsmen and others who have decided to take a knee after protesters demanded it.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

4 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama AG says Huntsville’s tear gas was justified, COVID-19 is still going on, Birmingham shuts down over protests and more …

(YHN)

7. Easing restrictions on Paycheck Protection Program supported by Alabama

  • The more relaxed requirements for businesses receiving funds through the Paycheck Protection Program were passed by the U.S. Senate and House this week. Businesses would only be required to spend 60% of funds on payroll, instead of 75%, and they’ll have 24 weeks to spend funds, instead of eight weeks. 
  • All Alabama representatives in the House and Senate supported this move, and now the legislation awaits President Donald Trump’s signature. So far, the program has saved over 50 million jobs, according to the Trump administration. 

6. Remove Jefferson Davis Day?

647

  • In Alabama, Jefferson Davis Day is every year on the first Monday of June, and now Alabama Democratic Party chairman State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) is calling on Governor Kay Ivey to remove the holiday. 
  • England sent a letter to Ivey asking her to call a special session to add removing the holiday to the agenda. A spokesperson for Ivey’s office said that the governor “is certainly open to sitting down with lawmakers to discuss this proposal.”

5. Walmart is pulling firearms

  • Due to protests over George Floyd’s death, Walmart has decided to remove firearms and ammunition from some stores. A spokesperson said that this decision was made “out of an abundance of caution.”
  • Walmart hasn’t specified which stores will have guns removed. Firearms and ammunition will still be available for purchase, but they “are being stored in a secure room.”

4. On-campus learning to return for fall semester

  • The University of Alabama System, which includes Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, has announced that they’ll have students back on campus this summer at a limited capacity, and then full classrooms will be back by the fall semester.
  • A resolution released by the system said, “The Board of Trustees believes that the UA System can best fulfill its core mission of teaching, research, and service by resuming on-campus activities in the Fall 2020 semester.” Students are able to go back on campus with limits on June 22; the fall semester will start on August 19 for all campuses.

3. Birmingham closes down ahead of protests

  • In preparation for more protests, including rumors of the KKK protesting, a fence was put up around Birmingham’s Linn Park and Kelly Ingram Park, the University of Alabama at Birmingham closed campus early “out of an abundance of caution,” some businesses downtown closed early, and courthouses closed down at noon by order of Jefferson County Presiding Court Judge Elisabeth French.
  • The City released a statement that the parks were fenced off “for public safety purposes to ensure unregistered gatherings do not occur.” The roads around Birmingham City Hall were barricaded, but even with this reported, Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Office of Public Information released a statement saying that “the city has not announced a shutdown nor does it plan to announce a shutdown.”

2. The coronavirus pandemic is still a thing

  • A popular narrative as things have reopened whenever there are crowds is that there will be a spike in coronavirus cases, and while that is yet to actually happen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has said that protests going on across the country could cause a resurgence of cases.
  • Redfield spoke before a House Appropriations subcommittee and suggested that those protesting get tested for the coronavirus. He told U.S. Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL) that “there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event.” He went on to say that the CDC is “very concerned that our public health message isn’t resonating.”

1. Mayor and AG defend Huntsville response

  • Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has made a public statement about the protest in downtown Huntsville that ended in the use of tear gas, and he explained that “people who were not part of our community” were responsible for the late unpermitted protest. Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner said, “We did the right thing last night.”
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall defended the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and force as an appropriate and proportional response, saying, “After an hour and a half of warnings and with daylight dwindling, law enforcement dispersed the crowd with the least amount of force possible and using no lethal weapons. This, despite the fact that the crowd was found to have backpacks full of weapons and spray paint, and which attacked officers with rocks and bottles full of frozen water.”

4 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama protests continue, all 4 officers charged in George Floyd case, Rosenstein acknowledges the FISA process was flawed and more …

(YHN)

7. Birmingham officer with coronavirus finally going home

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham police officer Sgt. Parnell Guyton has finally been sent home after spending 59 days at UAB Hospital fighting the coronavirus. A release said that he is “one of UAB Hospital’s first and most severely ill COVID-19 patients.”
  • Guyton was on a ventilator for 45 days at the hospital, “was in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for 23 days and spent 36 days in the Special Care Unit,” and his recovery from the virus has been called “a true miracle.”

6. GOP convention will be moved out of North Carolina

637

  • While some portions of the Republican National Committee convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to contractual obligations, an RNC official said, “The night the President accepts the nomination will not happen in Charlotte.”
  • Apparently, the decision isn’t completely final, but with how President Donald Trump has talked about the convention and wanting it to take place in full capacity, it’s unlikely that these plans will change. Trump said on Twitter that because of Governor Roy Cooper “we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

5. Marshall following through on Birmingham lawsuit

  • As promised, Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed a civil lawsuit against Birmingham for removing the Confederate monument in Linn Park, which will cost the city $25,000. 
  • In a statement, Marshall recalled how he made it known to Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin that if the monument were removed there would be a lawsuit filed and that he’s filing the suit against Birmingham for violating the Memorial Preservation Act. 

4. Byrne: We don’t need to deploy the military into cities

  • President Donald Trump recently came out and said that he could use the Insurrection Act to send military troops into cities where rioting and looting has been taking place as a way to restore order, but U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) is saying there’s “no reason” for this. 
  • On Twitter, Byrne went into detail that the Insurrection Act “is a tool that should only be used as an absolute last resort,” which is in agreement with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s statement that this act should be used “only in the most urgent and dire situations.” He added that the country is “not in one of those situations now.”

3. FISA warrants should not have been signed

  • Part of the catalyst for the premise of the Trump/Russia investigation was filled with so many errors and untruths that the man that signed off on the warrant renewals, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, now says he would not have signed off on the warrant had he known about the since-revealed misconduct. 
  • U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked about Trump/Russian collusion, “The whole concept that the campaign was colluding with the Russians, there was no there in August 2017. Do you agree with that statement?” Rosenstein replied, “I agree with that general statement.”

2. All four officers are now being charged

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has announced that the other three police officers involved in George Floyd’s death will be charged with third-degree murder, and the officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck will be charged with second-degree murder. 
  • The three other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J.A. Keung, will also be charged with two counts of aiding and abetting. A maximum sentence of all four officer’s charges would carry a penalty of 50 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. This comes just before the memorial for George Floyd, which is set to be held on Thursday. 

1. Alabama protests continue

  • More Black Lives Matter protests have taken place in Huntsville, Vestavia Hills, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery, with all protests ending mostly peacefully, but some were arrested in Birmingham for curfew violations. Tear gas was deployed in Huntsville after the crowd refused to disperse. 
  • In Huntsville, a police officer was hurt by a thrown object as police attempted to clear the downtown square after fears the protest would turn violent with weapons seen in the crowd. In total, 24 people were arrested. Huntsville Police Department said, “What you saw tonight was probably the most extreme patience I’ve ever seen with people who wouldn’t do what we say and were breaking the law.”